I go back and forth with my planning and scheduling support. Mostly I like my planning systems to be digital and in the cloud, so that I can get to them whenever and from whatever device I have handy. But I have a weakness for pretty planners, too.
This year I put together a printed planner for my blog that has been a huge help for keeping me on track and organized. Also, when I’m overwhelmed, I move off the computer to paper. I don’t know why, but the simplicity of paper and pen seems to help me feel like everything is more concrete and achievable. Or maybe I just like being able to cross things off with a pen when they are done.
I’ve been following Sarah Bell of Printable Charm on Instagram since before she launched her shop, and I love her designs and her philosophy toward life: “I want to feel good about spending quality time with my family, knowing we are focused on the things that will actually matter in 10 years!” So when she put out a call for bloggers interested in trying and reviewing one of her Printable Charm Planner Packs, I jumped at the opportunity.
Official disclosure: I received a free planner pack for review, but the images and opinions in this post are my own.
I chose her Chalk It Up Planner because I love the simple, modern look. The planning pack also comes in Glam Slam and Seaside Watercolor designs – it really was hard to choose a favorite!
Each of Sarah’s planner packs include the following:
- 2 years of calendars with daily and monthly views
- Birthday and anniversary perpetual tracker
- Blog planner
- Health tracker
- Financial freedom tracker
- Direct sales planner
- Menu Planner
- Teacher Planner
- Appointment, activity and black sticker sheets (to be printed on sticky paper)
- Notes pages
I printed out the menu planner immediately I’ve written about my commitment to menu planning before, and this one-page menu planner and grocery list is perfect for the way I plan our family’s meals.
I liked her blog planning designs, but I already have a planner printed and bound that will through the end of 2014. I may look at using some of these pages for my 2015 planner. I especially liked the weekly sheet that includes an area to track social media promotion for each post and the stats tracking sheet.
The financial planning section is great, but I already do all these things online. If you are just starting with budgeting or really want to have this work in a tangible printed format, you’ll love these forms. There are monthly budget planners as well as a sheet to help you track debt payments and savings goals.
Because I mostly keep my calendar in iCal, I didn’t think I’d be using the calendar pages. But on a week I was feeling particularly overwhelmed with my to-do list, I decided to print out the daily calendar to help me map out how to get some stuff done. I printed the month of October half size and stapled it into a planner pad. Then I filled in all my scheduled appointments, tasks from my to-do list, and my family’s schedule for each week, making sure I wasn’t overwhelming myself on any one day. This has been really helpful in getting caught up in the last week, while still protecting my still-fragile daily energy. The daily view, with its division of morning/day/night is really great for helping me see my day in manageable segments.
There were two things I’d have really appreciated that this pack didn’t include. First, a linked index list of the contents. Because there is SO MUCH in this planner, I spent a lot of time scrolling through it, looking for the one page I wanted to print. It would be great to have an index at the beginning that would let me jump to the section I’m looking for
Second, I would have liked a very simple project tracking sheet. I know there’s a separate goals planner that contains something like that, but there are many small projects in my day to day life that I need to break down into smaller steps to take action on. I’ve been using this free printable from Ann-Marie Loves.
The upshot? If you like to plan on paper, and love pretty design, these planner packs are awesome. You can find your own here at Printable Charm.